The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) recently released its approval process handbook for 2021-22. In an unprecedented move, the AICTE has made mathematics and physics optional at Class 12 level to get admission to BE and BTech courses. So far, math and physics were compulsory to take admission into undergraduate programme in engineering and technology.
Students who are seeking admission into engineering colleges must have passed 10 + 2 with three of the following subjects:
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
- Informatics Practices
- Technical Vocational Subject
- Engineering Graphics
- Business Studies
In its handbook AICTE said that candidates will have to score 45 per cent marks, and 40 per cent if in reserved category, in the above subjects taken together. "The universities will offer suitable bridge courses such as mathematics, physics, engineering drawing for students coming from diverse backgrounds to achieve learning outcomes of the programme," it said.
The move has proven to be a controversial one with many experts stating that physics and mathematics are absolute essentials for a course in engineering. Many experts have urged AICTE to reconsider its decision.
AICTE Chairman Anil D Sahasrabudhe told Times of India that the choice of three mandatory courses as input to engineering has been expanded. "Hence for different disciplines there could be different three mandatory courses," he said. He said that this would give a lot of flexibility in line with National Education Policy but acknowledged that physics and math are important to understand engineering otherwise a lot of bridge courses would be required.